B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘cocktail’ tag

The Caipirinha – New Favorite Summer Drink

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The Caipirinha is my new favorite summer drink, replacing my old standby, a gin and tonic.

Wikipedia defines it thus:

Caipirinha (Portuguese pronunciation: [kajpiˈɾiɲɐ]) is Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (pronounced [kaˈʃasɐ]) (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Cachaça is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic beverage. While both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products, most rum is made from molasses. Specifically with cachaça, the alcohol results from the fermentation of sugarcane juice that is afterwards distilled.

I made it for the first time for a small Rapture party, though I’ve had a caipirinha a couple of times at restaurants. A Flickr pal posted instructions on making this drink a few years ago, I loosely followed his instructions. His photos are better, so take a look if you need additional instructions.

I can see why they are such popular cocktails – fairly easy to make, very thirst quenching, and also easy to imbibe. Also easy to slurp down several before you realize it, so be careful. Luckily I have an Irish, green liver, and don’t feel any ill effects this morning.

Finally Bought a Bottle of Cachaça

The Cachaça itself: Velho Barreiro brand, which is briefly barrel aged.1 I bought it at Whole Foods of all places, but any liquor store worth visiting will have several varieties to choose from.

Limes, sliced

I took one lime, washed it, cut off the ends, and quartered it, twice. The juiciest lime will work the best of course, so don’t get those pale excuses for limes that litter produce sections.

Limes, Muddled with sugar

In a big and sturdy enough container, I added two sugar cubes to the lime bits, and muddled2 thoroughly. If I make caipirinhas on a regular basis, I might need a longer muddler, the one I own is a little too short to work well in my martini shaker. I ended up using the above pictured pyrex dish.

Crushed Ice For A Caipirinha

Threw a few ice cubes in the blender, and crushed them up.

Caipirinha

Add about 2 oz of  Cachaça to your blend, drop in the glass, stir (I guess you could do all this in your martini shaker too, I was still figuring out proper portions, so used the glass as the final arbiter)

Caipirinha is too quickly gone

Drink! And repeat until you are doing the samba, bossa nova, or even the forró…

Postscript: I tried making a drink sans the sugar cubes, and while it was drinkable, it wasn’t as good. Cachaça is pretty strong, and the limes weren’t potent enough a mixer by themselves. But two sugar cubes3 are 20 calories worth of sugar, not a whole lot.

Footnotes:
  1. I’d link to Velho Barreiro’s web site, but it seems to be only Adobe Flash files, with auto-playing music that can’t be turned off. So, no. []
  2. mashed, but with a muddler. I have one made by OXO, but there are other kinds []
  3. or if you get fancy, homemade powdered sugar – don’t use regular powdered sugar because it has additives like cornstarch – instead take some regular pure sugar and grind it up in  coffee grinder or similar []

Written by Seth Anderson

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 am

Posted in Food and Drink

Tagged with , ,

Reading Around on July 23rd through July 28th

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A few interesting links collected July 23rd through July 28th:

Written by swanksalot

July 28th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Links

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Drink it before the ice melts

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Drink it before the ice melts
Drink it before the ice melts, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

My favorite drinking game.

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: John S
Film: Pistil
Flash: Off

decluttr

If I’m motivated, can drink three drinks with the same ice cubes (i.e., before they melt). Personally, love good whiskey-with-an-E best when the ice has melted maybe 10%. Enough cold water to blend, but not too much to dilute it.

Anyway, I think it’s time for me to pour today’s cocktail, as I’m too tired to work on anything important today.

Written by swanksalot

March 15th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Cocktail hour redux

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Cocktail hour redux
Cocktail hour redux, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

A (better) photo of my delicious Manhattan

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Angostura bitters, Cinzano “Rosso” vermouth
shaken over ice cubes for 20 seconds before pouring into a cocktail glass. And slurped down.

Screw that funky (music white boy) cherry thing. No seriously, Maraschino Cherries are not part of my everyday repertoire.

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: John S
Film: Pistil
Flash: Off

decluttr

I probably shouldn’t have made a third one1, but this week2 has been exceptionally stressful, and I need a bit of a respite from worrying about situations I cannot completely control the outcome of.

Footnotes:
  1. but they were so damn delicious!! []
  2. actually, this entire month []

Written by swanksalot

February 10th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Photography

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Old Fashioned Welcomed Comeback

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If I’m going to drink bourbon1, a deftly-created Old Fashioned is probably my favorite way to drink it.

Cruising with Rae Bourbon - Around the world in 80 Ways

That’s when I come back to the Old Fashioned. As prone to becoming the subject of polemic, revisionism and endlessly repetitive arguments as any other cocktail — barring perhaps the cult-like madness that often accompanies the martini — when the computer is turned off and I place the whiskey and bitters on the kitchen counter, ultimately it’s just a drink. Not that I don’t recall the nagging questions as I mix, nor the ways I’m sure the drink would annoy partisans at polar ends of the mixological range: first a dab of sugar syrup in the bottom of a glass followed by a couple of dashes of bitters (hardcore Old Fashionedistas mandate the physical crushing of a sugar cube, possibly with a swath of orange or lemon peel); then a measured dose of bourbon or rye whiskey, depending on the mood; a quick stir for everyone to get acquainted in the glass, followed by large chunks of ice and, for that inner five-year-old with maturing tastes, a single bottled Italian wild cherry for color, rinsed of any cloying syrup

[Click to continue reading Are You Friends, After an Old Fashioned? – Proof Blog – NYTimes.com]

Truth Drug

Personally, I skip the cherry, and usually skip most of the sugar syrup too.

Jonathan Miles adds, in a requiem for the decade just over:

No, the real story was in rediscovered in drinks like the aviation cocktail, a sublimely floral combination of gin and maraschino liqueur (and later, as cocktail historians dug deeper into its origins, the violet-flavored crème de violette) that was a Web sensation before bars like Milk & Honey started featuring it on cocktail lists.

Or the old-fashioned, once dowdy but reinvigorated by bartenders like Don Lee, who recast it as the celery and nori old-fashioned at Momofuku Ssam Bar, and Phil Ward of Death & Company, whose Oaxaca old-fashioned — with tequila standing in for whiskey — proved how versatile a spare, 200-year-old formula could be.

These were artisanal drinks with history and gravitas and a contrapuntal range of flavors — sweet, sour, savory, bitter — that hadn’t been balanced in generations. They’re representative of a lost American art — the art of the cocktail, as practiced by pre-Prohibition bartenders — that, after the ’00s, can no longer be called lost.

[Click to continue reading Shaken and Stirred – The Last Decade Was Good for Cocktails, Anyway – NYTimes.com]

“Mad Men: Season 3 [Blu-ray]” (Matthew Weiner)

You’d have to add Mad Men chic to the equation too: the Old Fashioned was Don Draper’s signature drink, the drink that won him Connie Hilton’s ad business, as described amusingly at A Dash of Bitters.

It happens to all of us, eventually. You’ll be at the country club, at a party hosted by your boss, who’s in the midst of a humiliating midlife crisis. He’ll be the fool in blackface, serenading his new bride, who’s 30 years his junior. Disgusted, you’ll walk away and seek out another old-fashioned. Alas, no bartender will be on duty, and the famous hotelier who’s rooting around behind the bar will declare that he’s on the same mission as you, but to his dismay, there’s no bourbon.

With a James Bondian flourish, you’ll leap over the bar, rummage a bit, and find some good Old Overholt. You’ll take a couple of glasses, drop a sugar cube in each, and dash in some bitters. While the bitters soften the sugar cubes, you’ll find any old tall glass behind the bar and fill it about halfway with ice. Free-pour the rye over that, open a bottle of soda water, and splash some in. Muddle the sugar cubes. Roughly thrust a barspoon up and down in the tall glass three times, and then pour the drink, ice included, half into one glass and half into the other.

You’ll drop a wedge of lemon into each glass, then, but you won’t bother stirring the sugar into the drink, probably because you’ll be making out with someone else’s spouse by the time you’d reach the sugary sludge. And you’ll have yourself an old-fashioned rye cocktail. Hand one off to the hotelier and drink up.

[Click to continue reading Don Draper’s no-nonsense old-fashioned for two — A Dash of Bitters]

Indeed. No precision required, just American can-do-ism.

Footnotes:
  1. not in my top ten of alcoholic drinks, well, maybe number 10 or 11. []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 17th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Food and Drink

Tagged with , ,

The Manhattan Project

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Ya know, on a day like today when I’m feeling cranky/unmotivated/surly/yadda yadda, a nice cocktail might be just the spark to get me going. Unfortunately, I don’t have any bitters in the house, and my bourbon is years old. Irish whiskey makes a nice substitute, in my experience, but I drained my last drops a couple weeks ago, and haven’t bothered replacing it. So, more coffee it is.


“10 Ounce Angostura Bitters Mixer (03-0576)” (Angostura International)

At first glance the Manhattan looks like such a simple affair – whiskey, sweet vermouth and a few dashes of bitters. I’m the first to admit that it’s not too hard to make a halfway decent version of this cocktail, but a truly great Manhattan can be made only by someone who truly understands the magnitude of what’s at hand. Indeed, the mark of a bartender who is truly worth his or her salt lies solidly in his or her interpretation of the Manhattan.

It is virtually a San Francisco tradition to knock back a Manhattan at the well-worn bar of the Tadich Grill, a restaurant with roots that stretch back to the Gold Rush. Mike Buich, Tadich’s owner, allows his bartenders to personalize their Manhattans to a certain extent, but they must be made with three parts bourbon, one part vermouth and just one dash of Angostura bitters. (Although I’m more likely to make my Manhattan with two parts whiskey to one part vermouth, and I’m known to be a hog on the bitters front, the ratios used at Tadich can work, providing the right whiskey is used, and providing it’s married to the correct vermouth.) Buich also mandates that his bartenders stir their Manhattans over ice long enough for them to be very cold when they reach a customer’s lips. That’s another piece of the equation – stirring the drink for a minimum of 20 seconds is mandatory if it’s perfection you seek.

Consider the Rob Roy, for instance. It’s just a Manhattan made with Scotch as opposed to American whiskey, but with the right Scotch this can be a glorious quaff. Peychaud’s bitters, by the way, work very well indeed with Scotch, and I often add just one dash of these to the mix when I make a Rob Roy. The Paddy cocktail is a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey; with the right bottling and with liberal dashes of Angostura, this, too, is a desirable dram. Add Benedictine to the Rob Roy and you have yourself a Bobby Burns, a drink created at the Waldorf Astoria in the days prior to Prohibition.

[From The Manhattan project: A bartender spills his secrets on the king of cocktails]

(via)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 9th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Posted in Food and Drink

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